How do members of different school communities understand the values and ethos in their schools?

Cummins, Esther ORCID logoORCID: (2022) How do members of different school communities understand the values and ethos in their schools? In: TEAN Conference, 16-17 May 2023, Virtual.

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Abstract / Summary

A school community is a social organisation that demands interaction, communication, and connection. Individual and collective identities impact how the culture of belonging develops, consciously and unconsciously agreed, and how people make connections. Bourdieu and Wacquant argued that finding the social environment that aligns with a person’s experiences, “…is like a ‘fish in water’: it does not feel the weight of the water and it takes the world about itself for granted” (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992, p127). My research focuses on this social environment and how individuals understand the ethos in different settings.

I will start the round table discussion with a short introduction of my findings regarding how stakeholders discuss their schools’ ethos. When considering a school environment, a stakeholder’s unfamiliarity with a school ethos in relation to expectations and norms may lead to a disconnection between them and the community. As I draw on discussions with school community members of different types of school (primary, secondary, faith, academy, and community) who have different roles (administrator, teacher, headteacher, and governor), I intend to identify any feelings of harmony or discord. I will discuss some of the written policies that schools abide by concerning policy, considering Donnelly’s (2000) conceptualisation of ethos as formal (policy) and informal (experience).

The majority of the round table discussion will focus on the voices of those present to hear how their research and practice support former and present student teachers in both understanding their school environments and in seeking employment in a setting where they feel as if they belong. I will draw attention to some of the questions that may be helpful for us to consider:

· How might a school’s ethos impact the experiences of a student teacher?

· How can student teachers learn how to choose the ‘right’ school to work in during their first years of teaching?

· How might a disparity between personal values and school values be overcome?

· When and how do we discuss ethos with student teachers?

· What might be the impact of harmony/ discord between a school and student teacher concerning ethos and values?

Bourdieu, P. and Wacquant. L. (1992) An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Donnelly, C. (2000) In Pursuit of School Ethos, British Journal of Educational Studies, 48(2) pp134-154

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Education
Courses by Department: Academy of Innovation and Research > Research
Depositing User: Esther Cummins
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2023 11:12
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2023 11:12


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